IntroductionThe World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Enquiry Point is the official body that responds to requests from mainly traders and dispatch relevant information by means of telephone, email, direct physical visit or through this website. The WTO agreements describe the responsibility of National Enquiry Points as follows:
- to answer to all reasonable questions from interested countries,
- to provide relevant documents.
WTO members are obliged to notify the contact details of their NEP to the WTO secretariat, so that the information is available to all their members.
Access to trade-related information is essential for clarity and predictability of international trade transactions. Therefore, the enquiry point is a means to facilitate access to information already published, with the additional benefit of providing it in a personalized and customized manner responding to specific requests.
How does the Enquiry Point manage information
- The Bureau has signed an MOU with the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment (MOTIE) for the regular feeding of information on standards and technical regulations to their Trade Information Portal;
- The Enquiry Point maintains its own comprehensive electronic information library on notifications, technical regulations, standards on products of concern to the Gambia
- The Enquiry Point coordinates the transmission of requests to the concerned national agencies, compiling their replies and sending them back to the requesting party.
Benefits of a WTO TBT Enquiry Point
Businesses engaging in international trade transactions require access to trade information,including information on the regulatory framework in place and operational practice. Thus, the enquiry point serves as a centralized locations for this. The information provided by the enquiry point is not only easily accessible, but also precise, up-to-date, and complete and requests are answered in a timely manner and on a non-discriminatory basis.
Enquiry points therefore offer time and costs savings due to this ready access and comprehensive information. Ensuring that the information is up-to-date and complete also improves compliance through the avoidance of mistakes and the solving of problems related to missing information prior to the transaction. Overall, enquiry points contribute to the quick and informed decision making process by traders.
Our enquiry point is tailored and made particularly suited for small enterprise and is therefore of particular interest for SMMEs looking for facilitated market access.
A trade information enquiry point provides information on currently applied regulations, charges, formalities and procedures in place. This information has to be precise, up-to-date, complete and continuous, and has to be transmitted and dealt with in a professional and timely manner.
This is achieved through dedicated staff and facilities for the use of visited who choose to visit us directly.The other means are through dissemination of information and training to relevant stakeholders.